By P PREM KUMAR & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By BERNAMA
Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s idea to build a “crooked bridge” linking Malaysia and Singapore could be revived, almost 12 years after the infamous “half-bridge” proposal was called off.
The proposal, which was mooted by Dr Mahathir in 2002 during the latter’s first term as PM, has been forwarded again for consideration by the Johor state government.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian said Dr Mahathir has re-proposed the crooked bridge to the state government at a meeting last month, to which the state responded positively.
“So, in the meeting last month, he asked me whether Johor needs the crooked bridge or not…to which I said ‘it is up to you’, because that was his idea before.
“The bridge has its benefits. So, he said if the state wants to do it, no problem, because it doesn’t involve demolishing Singapore’s parts of the bridge — only on our side,” Osman told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
The bridge would be one way to reduce congestion at the Causeway, where people from both countries are caught in traffic jams for hours on a daily basis.
In 2002, a year before retiring for the first time, Dr Mahathir announced that Malaysia would go ahead and build a crooked bridge — a six-lane S-shaped highway curving in such a way to allow ships to pass under it — if Singapore refused to demolish its half of the Causeway.
In January 2006, Malaysia unilaterally announced that it was going ahead to build the new bridge on the Malaysian side, then renamed as scenic bridge.